Australia declines emergency assistance from Danish fire services

A Danish offer to send 50 firefighters to assist in putting out disastrous bushfires in Australia has been turned down.

Australia declines emergency assistance from Danish fire services
File photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Earlier this week the Danish national fire service, Beredskabsstyrelsen, confirmed it was speaking to authorities in Australia over ways in which it could help with the ongoing natural disaster, which has resulted in 26 confirmed deaths and the loss millions of animals and hectares of forest.

Specifically, Denmark offered to send 50 of its firefighters down under to lend a hand during the disaster.

Australia has now expressed its appreciation for the offer but decided to turn down the Danish assistance, DR reports.

That decision was confirmed by Defence Minister Trine Bramsen in a joint press statement.

“We have received a warm thanks for the offer, but Danish firefighters won’t be sent on any mission for the time being. That is currently not the what is wanted on the part of the Australians,” Bramsen said.

“The local authorities are best placed to assess the circumstances and their needs at the current time,” the minister explained, adding that the Danish offer stands should it be needed at a later stage.

Australian Ambassador to Denmark MaryEllen Miller said in the press statement that Australia is well equipped and organized for fighting the bushfires.

“Our warmest thanks go to all of Denmark for your thoughts and support,” she also said.

READ ALSO: Australian-themed bar in Denmark faces backlash for 'news-jacking' bushfires

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Denmark opens up to inbound travel from six countries outside EU

from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand. But Danish residents are only recommended to visit the countries "if strictly necessary".

Denmark opens up to inbound travel from six countries outside EU
Danes are still not recommended to travel to Australia. Photo: Loren Elliott/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
The decision to allow residents of the six countries to enter Denmark was made by representatives of Denmark's infectious disease agency SSI, together with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, based on the 15 country “safe travel list” agreed by the European Council on Monday. 
Denmark judged that residents of Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia and Uruguay — which all made the European Council list, are not safe enough according to Danish standards, but gave no reasons for its decision. 
Denmark's foreign ministry said it would also continue to advise Danish residents against unnecessary travel to the six countries, as they all impose quarantine restrictions on people arriving from Denmark. 

“This means that all travel guides for these countries remain 'orange', the foreign ministry said in a statement. “So it goes without saying that all unnecessary journeys continue to be discouraged to countries outside the EU / Schengen and UK.” 

“If a country that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only recommends to travel because of entry restrictions or quarantine requirements, lift these, the travel guidance will be eased.” 

For the same reason, the UK, Ireland and Romania are still rated 'orange' by the foreign ministry, because of quarantine requirements imposed on Danish citizens.